The Negotiator (1998)

© Warner Bros.. All Rights Reserved.
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Released:  Friday, July 31, 1998  
Length:  139 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama/Suspense
Rating: The Negotiator is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaUnder 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


Police choppers circle the 20th floor of the Chicago Internal Affairs Division's downtown headquarters. SWAT. marksmen stand ready on nearby rooftops, their high-powered weapons targeted on Danny Roman (SAMUEL L. JACKSON), who is holding the chief of the I.A.D. and his staff at gunpoint.

Roman's desperate gambit has been triggered by an equally desperate situation: his world has been destroyed by false charges of murder and embezzlement brought against him. Roman knows that people listen when lives are at stake; he knows that he has a chance to prove his innocence if he can just buy a little time -- time that he urgently needs to find out who's behind the frame-up.

He understands all of this implicitly -- because Danny Roman is a Chicago Police officer - and the best hostage negotiator in the department.

But right now, Roman is a hostage-taker - and he needs someone who will listen to him. So he asks that Chris Sabian (KEVIN SPACEY), a respected negotiator from another precinct, be brought in to mediate. Sabian squares off with his formidable opponent, a man he knows only by reputation, as he attempts to understand and defuse the explosive situation.

Although he begins his task convinced that Roman has had a complete breakdown, Sabian starts to wonder whether this hostage-taker is a man gone mad or, instead, what Roman claims to be - an honest cop who must break the law to find justice for himself. Ultimately, Sabian is driven to answer the same questions that are obsessing Danny Roman. Who's behind the frame-up? And where does Roman fit into the scheme?

Academy Award-nominee Samuel L. Jackson and Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey star in a taut drama about a battle of wits and wills that has human lives hanging in the balance.

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The Negotiator Blu-ray Review

On November 10, 2009, Warner Bros. is releasing the 1998 crime thriller The Negotiator on Blu-Ray. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, J.T. Walsh and Paul Giamatti, this movie is an intense psychological crime thriller and will make you think throughout.
Samuel Jackson(Star Wars, Snakes on a Plane) plays Lt. Danny Roman, a hostage negotiator with one of Chicago's HBT (Hostage Barricade and Terrorism) teams. He's also on their Police pension Board of Directors. Early on, his partner tells him someone is stealing from the pension fund, and is promptly killed, while Danny is framed for it. Additional evidence is planted making it look like Danny stole the money, so his attorney advises him to take a plea bargain. Because he knows he is innocent, Danny decides to take a drastic step to prove his innocence: he takes people hostage in the Police Internal Affairs office, to bring all the players in this drama to the table. To make sure he isn't just killed, he demands that a specific hostage negotiator be brought in, someone who isn't part of the plot...Chris Sabian, played by Kevin Spacey. Then the real fun begins.
Samuel Jackson and Kevin Spacey both deliver extraordinary performances in their respective roles, and regrettably they weren't recognized for their achievements. From the subtle facial expressions of Samuel Jackson (especially when you can't see half of his face), to Kevin Spacey's anger at the appropriate times. For those two alone, you should see this movie if you haven't already.
But they're not the only ones. David Morse plays the leader of the HBT team (with my favorite quote of his: "Don't tell me $&(#*%* copy! Pull the $&#(%*&%) trigger!"). And what looks like a pre-CSI gathering, Paul Guilfoyle plays Danny's partner Nathan, and Robert David Hall plays Sgt. Cale Wangro.

Now for the Blu-Ray copy of this movie: The transfer is excellent and the sound is crisp, especially with the Dolby Digital TrueHD audio. There are two special featurettes, both of which are good viewing, especially if you are into the crime genre, as they go into the world of the real hostage negotiators.


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